Tips from an insider: Cambridge in the summer

I did not bribe her to talk to me. I did not bribe her.

Cambridge insider interview summer


Having scoured the land far and wide to bring you a true Cambridge local, and then bribing/blackmailing/begging said local to speak to me (all the while appearing increasingly desperate), I bring to you the top secret INSIDER TIPS from a gal who really knows what’s up in Cambridge.

Read on for much scone related knowledge and an anecdote which, given a certain VICE mockumentary that surfaced recently, we could really do without publicising.

TAB: Hi, insider. What are the best kept secrets of Cambridge?

HELPFUL AND ENTHUSIASTIC INSIDER: The Free Press is a really nice pub. The staff is amazing, it has such good food, its always full of locals and it has a lovely atmosphere on the weekends, think papers and breakfast. Its great in the sun and close to town but its not one of the busier ones so its less touristy and cheaper.

TAB (ALWAYS GETTING YOU THE REAL STORY): Wow, sounds great. And the name.. How fitting. Any personal affiliations with this pub?

HELPFUL (IF SOMEWHAT BIASED) INSIDER: No. Ok yes. Fine. I used to work there. But still go there, its great. Also The Granta, obviously, great in the summer for its outdoor seating. The Orchard Tea Gardens is in Grantchester so its probably not as well known, but is definitely worth a visit. It has deck chairs and great scones and is all overgrown and it’s close to the river. Also, Mai Thai on Parker’s Piece is seriously underrated. Not a great vibe but honestly the best sticky rice and Thai green curry I have ever had.

Tastes a lot better if you haven’t just been publicly shamed about that time your boyfriend peed on you


TAB: Thanks, insider. Note everyone – visit Mai Thai on an occasion that will not involve paint thinner masquerading as wine and the kind of ‘fun dares’ which are really more just ‘public humiliation and/or misogyny’. Maybe that’s what she means by ‘not a great vibe’.  So, insider, any other gems to share with us?

HELPFUL INSIDER: Hot yoga at Cam Yoga is really good – quite intense and £14 a pop I think but it’s worth it. Oh, St Mary’s church on Kings Parade does the best, biggest scones ever. Although always full of old people. But honestly huge scones. Also you can go to the top of St Mary’s spire and there’s a viewing platform which is really cool because you can see the whole of Cambridge from it. You do have to pay but not very much.

Just add 30 degrees and more sweat than you thought humanly possible


TAB (thinking about how many of these huge scones you could buy with £14): Sounds fab. I get SUCH a kick out of doing slow and painful exercise while in an oven-like environment. Perfect me-time. And then perfect me-and-scone time on the top of a church. So, insider, time to dish the dirt on those pesky students – what embarrassing antics have you witnessed?

HELPFUL INSIDER (thinks hard): Well, once at the Free Press a society put money behind the bar and the most ordered drink was guinness with a shot of sambuca. Thought that was pretty strange. I think one of them was hitting on me, but his technique was a bit off – he just kept repeating ‘did I mention I go to Trinity?’ and then ‘you look just like mummy, I miss her’. Then he looked really sad and wandered off.

TAB: Sorry to hear about that, that sounds traumatic. Anything else?

HELPFUL BUT NONPLUSSED INSIDER: To be honest, I don’t actually notice the students that much, in fact I barely see them. Maybe they’re just always in the library?

TAB: Probably, insider. Probably. Now, lastly, I’ve got to ask. As an objective, neutral bystander, which do you think is the nicest college?

What’s not to love?


HELPFUL INSIDER: Hmm – I’d have to say Churchill. Absolutely gorgeous. Sometimes I go for walks around the grounds and soak it all in.

Well, its time to wrap up. You’ve been so helpful, insider. Think of the lives you will change…

And there we have it guys: a true hero of the Free Press.